Let’s Take Stock of Stock Photography

To say I love my job as a social media manager would be an understatement. I enjoy creating content and getting paid to source up-and-coming art, images and videos. Another part of the social media game is sourcing stock images and I f*cking love stock photography. Don’t ask me why, but I think it’s uniting my content with the perfect image to capture the attention of my clients’ audience.

It may sound pretty simple, but I cannot tell you how many times I have seen social interns and managers get it all wrong. From 90’s inspired high-fives in the office to the overzealous smiles in the boardroom, it’s cringe-worthy. The reality is that if you don’t carefully pick your images for social media, viewers are simply going to scroll past your content. I mean all that work producing content, for no one to ever see it. Really!

So with my love of stock photography in tow, I started considering ways to teach someone to find the most effective image for his or her social media content. I’ve compiled 5 tips to help you choose the right stock image for your social content, and hopefully drag you away from those disgraceful images of amusing salads.

Lets Go…


  1. Keep it relevant.

Anything remotely 90’s is a no-go. Your viewers are going to look straight ahead and move on to content that grabs their attention. Keeping it relevant also extends to relevant in relation to your content. You must ensure that the image compliments your content so that it makes sense.

  1. Au Naturel.

Keep your images candid. Stay away from the images we’ve all seen before, where the people have been told to act natural and are subsequently failing miserably. Generally images without faces do best, and still tell the story you are aiming to create.

  1. Kill the cliché.

Let me remind you of another gem I’m sure you’ve all been tempted, whether it be by client request or lack of inspiration, to use – the lady who has never met a funnier salad in all her life. Let’s be honest, there is no salad in the world with that type of hold on anyone. Simple thinking is key here.

  1. First the worst.

Take your time finding the most appropriate stock image. Don’t take the first image you see, this is what most people will do, and is what leads to all social platforms being saturated with one image.

  1. Keep it clean.

No one wants to squint trying to read text on an image so make sure it’s text friendly. Images should be uncluttered and easy to read because you need to convey your message as quickly as possible. Repeat after me: Blank space is my friend.


That’s it folks. Happy stock image finding.

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